The Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair MLC has been asked to suspend the commercial fisheries reform package until further information is provided and consultation has been had with fishers such as Mr Paul Heron.

Mr Heron has become the face of the challenges facing local commercial fishers and addressed  State Parliament last week.

Mr Heron met with Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson and Labor Candidate for Wollongong, Paul Scully on Monday afternoon to discuss the Government’s fisheries reform package.

Ms Watson and Mr Scully have written to the Minister calling for the suspension of the package.

Mr Heron’s small fishing business, and others like it, are under threat from the Government’s fishing reforms as key deadlines loom on whether or not to accept a $20,000 offer to withdraw from the local industry.

Mr Heron has been fishing on Lake Illawarra for the last 20 years.

Comments attributable to Anna Watson MP: 

“The Government has botched this whole process.

“Local fishers like Paul Heron are being forced to make life-changing decisions about the future of their small businesses with incomplete information.

“We are calling on the Minister to suspend this whole process until the Government provides local fishers with information that is complete and easy to understand so they can determine their future in the fishing industry with some certainty.”

Comments attributable to Paul Scully: 

“The problem with the Government’s package is that instead of providing certainty for local fishers, it’s only increasing the stress for them.

“Paul Heron has been fishing on Lake Illawarra for 20 years and this package as it now stands will sink his small business and others like it.

“This is an honest, hardworking man trying to make a living for his young family and he deserves far better treatment from the Government.”


1 September 2016